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Squid Stuffed With Shrimp and Ginger

8 large squid, bodies only, cleaned
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and minced
1 cup thinly sliced stemmed fresh shiitake mushrooms
5 scallions, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
6 tablespoons Thai Dipping Sauce, see note
3 shallots, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 large egg whites
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped, peeled, fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red curry paste
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Pat the squid bodies dry inside and out.

Combine the shrimp, mushrooms, scallions, bread crumbs, dipping sauce, shallots, lime juice, egg whites, garlic, curry paste and sugar in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands, then transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse for 3 seconds. Return to the bowl and refrigerate, covered, 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Stuff the shrimp mixture into the squid bodies, packing it tightly but only three- quarters full. Remove air pockets. Close the opening on each squid with a toothpick.

Heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Add the stuffed squid in one layer and brown on all sides, 1 minute per side. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick. Stick the pick into the middle of the squid. If the juice runs clear and the toothpick feels warm to the touch, the squid is ready. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then slice.

Serves 4 as a main bowl, 8 as a small bowl.

Note: Combine 2 cups water, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup rice vinegar in a nonreactive saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Transfer to a heatproof bowl and cool. Add 5 cloves garlic, lightly crushed, 3 fresh jalapeno peppers, stemmed and coarsely chopped, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice and 1/4 cup nam pla (Asian fish sauce). Refrigerate, covered, for 1 to 2 hours. Strain before using. (Can be halved.) Makes about 3 cups and keeps for one week.

Thursday, May 18, 2000

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